I dream of earth. I live on the grey boardwalk by the grey sand by the grey sea, a tourist trap where the workers check their phones all day until closing time, then have orgies with each other by bonfire and tv light. There are rooms by the sea, many small dull-smelling rooms that you can be inside and touch each other with lukewarm fingers, fingers that feel like nothing.
A certain amount of tourists is always present, never enough to feel busy or alive, but always at a stable quantity. Children walk by with the same face as their parents. The seaside is not strong enough to support many faces.
They usually ignore you, if you are careful.
My patrons send me money from the dream of earth, it appears inside the minifridge in my hotel room. Sometimes the hotel room gets very cold and I insulate with novelty t-shirts. I have a lot of them now. There are many different people on them but I don't know any of their names. I think they're just made up.
Some kind of Rick and Morty shopping channel plays silently on the tv. It is part of nature.
Sometimes I check my phone. The internet carries people's dreams of earth. They don't know it doesn't exist anymore, but they keep yelling at each other, stuck in hell.
At every redemption arcade I've been to, the machines build up over time, retro cabinets and 80's movie pinball and all the way to glossy Fruit Ninja kiosks. It's jarring to remember that Fruit Ninja was an invisible spike that entered reality and punctured the future. One of the frictionless orbs from outside the universe with banal unrelated representations in 3D space. They annihilated existence but it wasn't personal.
Me and my friend stay in shape with air hockey. I love air hockey. It feels so good to hit the puck. Crack!
We could play it forever in the corner of the arcade, unnoticed in the dark. Maybe we will.
I don't think earth was real. The few mechanics that hint at another world, like the money appearing in the minifridge, may be only those mechanisms, embedded just outside this grey place.
Distant continents appear in the mist for a single moment. I wonder if they're dreams of earth. I am grateful the seaside exists. If it disappears there is nothing else. A skybox slurry carrying west coast solar winds, the illusion of highways and rest stops from billions of years ago, the tidal roar of cars as long as you don't look for them. I don't know how far you can walk outside of it but I'm not going to try.
I was born with a demon in my body. I'm mostly housebroken now. At the seaside I have a lot of time to think about the dream of earth. The memories feel so real.
In the dream of earth it was hard living in a possessed body. Craving love and affection. It took a long time to become worthy of affection but it happened. I accrued a certain amount of sediment in my body. It ballasts me to the ground so the demon can't pull me into the sky. I feel a lot in a way that doesn't make sense to most people but I feel it so strongly. I don't know how to explain this invisible sword.
Tremendous power and sweetness.
In the overpriced hotel restaurant we can't see the darkness of the shore because of the reflections of the chandelier lights on the window, a half-darkness marred with orange smears. People walk past wearing blobby hoodies and rainjackets. Sometimes couples walk toward the sea. We eat dungeness crab spinach dip. Food poisoning is the most exciting thing that happens to us.
I think we came here to look at tide pools.
At the arcade they have a machine where you and a friend can sit down in chairs and the chairs shake and fans blow on you and the screens take you on a ride from the first-person perspective of various things, usually vehicles, but one lets you get tf'd into a pinball! I was so excited!! It was so crazy!!! It would be cool to make 3D games where each time you load it the camera object is attached to some random physics fragment, like a piece of bomb debris or a blood cell, and you just hurtle into oblivion, mashing restart...
Fortunately the only games that exist are in this arcade and I don't have to think about that anymore.
We buy weed from cashiers after work, meeting at the edge of the shore. It doesn't really get you high but it's something. When it's dark the workers lose their faces. But you don't have to worry about the workers as much as the tourists. The workers just want to fuck and sleep.
With age I can finally see the silence of love.
Before we came to the seaside, before time left us, I remember feeling a quiet, heavy sadness. Blocking me inside. Stopping my life force. That sadness never seems to go away but losing it feels like it would be blindness. I feel a record in me now. I'm written on. When they burn books they'll burn me.
I'm just glad I got to go to the seashore. I never had anyone take me on a vacation for my birthday. I love feeling special. I want to grow tall so I can be worthy of decomposing.